Wh-Questions in English and Chinese: A Phase-Based Approach

Zheng Gao
2021 OALib  
Wh-question has aroused considerable attention of linguists around the world. English is a wh-movement language, while Chinese is commonly recognized as a wh-in-situ language. By the advent of the Minimalist Program outlined by Chomsky, the syntactic derivation in a phase-based approach has reduced the computational operation. The syntactic structures are built in a bottom-up and one-phase-at-a-time way. Merge and Agree are the most basic syntactic operations. The paper presents how Phase
more » ... nts how Phase Theory works and clarifies a computational model of generation of wh-questions. This model accounts for how the uninterpretable [WH] feature of wh-phrases is checked and deleted and when phrases are sent to Spell-Out. The paper tries to explore the similarity and difference of nominal wh-words between English and Chinese in matrix and embedded wh-questions, which will help provide further evidence of the power of universal grammar, and the usefulness of the approach to syntactic operation of other languages.
doi:10.4236/oalib.1107272 fatcat:crxhecyfhffppefcmefuggswqi